In Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game," what does Zaroff think surpasses an animal's instinct?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

General Zaroff is the antagonist and a world-class hunter in "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell. He lives on a deserted island with his servant Ivan, and when Rainsford first meets him the General seems to be a civilized man in every way: what he drinks, what he wears, the music he listens to, everything. Well, almost everything.

He is a hunter who has grown bored with hunting big game animals of every kind.

"They were no match at all for a hunter with his wits about him, and a high-powered rifle. I was bitterly disappointed. I was lying in my tent with a splitting headache one night when a terrible thought pushed its way into my mind. Hunting was beginning to bore me! And hunting, remember, had been my life."

To save himself from depression, Zaroff is inspired to find a new kind of prey, one which has only one qualification:

"It must have courage, cunning, and, above all, it must be able to reason."

Of course, the only animal that can do that is a human, which is the animal Zaroff now hunts. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial